Robert De Niro ordered to pay 1.26m to former assistant
Robert De Niro has been ordered to pay his former assistant $1.26 million as although a jury didn't find him personally liable for the gender discrimination Graham Chase Robinson had alleged she suffered, they ruled his company were liable.
Robert De Niro has been ordered to pay his former assistant $1.26 million.
The 'Killers of the Flower Moon' actor was sued by Graham Chase Robinson - who worked her way up from his personal assistant to Vice President of Production and Finance at the 'Raging Bull' star's production company Canal Productions before she resigned - for $12 million after accusing him of gender discrimination and following a civil trial, a jury reached a verdict after almost five hours of deliberations on Thursday (09.11.23).
While the panel at New York City's federal court found the 80-year-old actor not personally liable, his company was found liable for gender discrimination and retaliation and so Canal Productions were told to pay a seven-figure sum in damages to the 41-year-old former staff member.
Graham's legal team welcomed the verdict.
David Sanford, chairman of Sanford Heisler Sharp, said in a statement: “We are delighted that the jury saw what we saw and returned a verdict in Chase Robinson’s favor against Robert De Niro’s company, Canal Productions.
"Not only did Ms. Robinson win her case against Canal but the jury completely vindicated Ms. Robinson by finding De Niro’s claims against her to be without merit."
During the trial, the 'Raging Bull' star admitted he had probably "berated" his ex-employee.
On the stand last month, the plaintiff's attorney asked the actor if he yelled at her when she didn’t wake him up in time for an important meeting, he confessed he “berated her”.
He added he is likely to have called her “petulant,” “snippy” and a “f****** spoiled brat”.
But the screen legend denied actually yelling at his former assistant, adding: “I’ve raised my voice. I don’t yell. You wanna dispute that? That’s one thing I don’t do.”
The 'Meet the Fockers' star did raise his voice several times throughout his testimony, including one instance in which he took aim at his former assistant after he was accused of not paying her fairly compared to another male employee.
He exclaimed: “Every little thing she’s trying to get me on is nonsense! Shame on you, Chase Robinson.”
The legal battle began in August 2019 when De Niro's production company sued the former assistant for millions after she allegedly misused funds for personal expenses.
The company accused her of spending tens of thousands of dollars on the company’s American Express card and approving fake business trips that she used to pay for her social life, including a friend’s birthday party in Los Angeles that racked up a $5,000 bill.
She hit back by hitting Canal Productions with her $12 million lawsuit for alleged workplace and sexual harassment and sexism.